The best family-friendly Irish destinations this summer
Most parents will wearily agree that family holidays can at times be hard work. There’s the chorus of ‘are we there yet?’ in the car. Ice-cream clothes stains and sand-filled shoes. Cries for colourful, plastic souvenir tat. And inexhaustible demands for amusement.
But choose the right destination and boredom is guaranteed to be kept at bay. There are so many great places for all the family to enjoy around Ireland, whether it’s getting out into the great outdoors, taking to the water or tearing around fun fairs, there are plenty of family-fun things happening all around the country. Here are our top picks to keep the little ones entertained this summer.
Nature-spotting in Galway
The Burren Nature Sanctuary is just 30-minutes from Galway city and boasts winding, flora-filled trails perfect for the junior rambler. Budding Attenboroughs will love getting up close and personal with some of the wildlife on site, from goats and shetland ponies to alpaca, rabbits and guinea pigs. You’ll also find a wonderful eco playground and a café (for that all-important chocolate cake pit stop).
Elsewhere, Brigit’s Garden off the main Galway – Clifden road (N59) provides more flower-filled, tree-lined amusement. It’s a Celtic garden complete with ancient ring fort and set on 11 acres of undulating woodland and blossoming meadow. There’s a children’s discovery trail for little nature sleuths, a café and a programme brimming with seasonal events.
Pirate-playing in Wexford
Your swashbuckling rugrats will love Pirates Cove – the Gorey-based fun park with real pirate flair. From adventure golf and bowling to bubble rollers, bumper boats and go karts, there’s plenty here to tire out children. They’ll be so exhausted, they won’t even quibble when bed time rolls around.
Continuing the sea-faring theme, the 800-year old Hook Lighthouse (perched on the Hook peninsula in County Wexford) offers dramatic views – after a 115-step climb. A tea and cake respite will most definitely be called for after that exertion.
Nestled in the sunny South East and decked out with a swimming pool and playground is Maldron Hotel Wexford. The stylish venue also offers a Crafty Kids Club during school holidays for art-loving little ones. And it’s conveniently located within easy reach of all the beaches on Wexford’s beautiful coastline.
Water-sporting in Cork
There’s plenty to keep children entertained in Cork – from cinema and theatre outings to bowling and karting. The famous English Market with its vibrant colours and stalls brimming with fresh food and bric-a-brac is the perfect place to treat your mini-me to a babyccino and some sweets.
For the adventurous at heart, the environs of Cork city provide opportunity aplenty for intrepid exploring. Just half an hour from the city centre is Fota Wildlife Park , a sprawling 100-acre safari park. Here you can observe lions, cheetahs, monkeys and more wander freely in the closest imitation of their habitat this side of Tanzania.
If your kids want less observation, more action then Ballyhass Lakes Adventure Centre in Mallow, County Cork is the place to go. With zip-lines, wake-boarding, kayaking and aquatic jungle gyms this is your one-stop destination for watery thrills and spills. There’s no shortage of activities on dry land either with falconry, rock climbing and abseiling all on offer. Children will just love it!
Pack your bags…
Maldron Hotels has a selection of fantastic hotels up and down the country – all of which promise fabulous, picky-eater-approved restaurants, nap-inducing beds and super-friendly staff. Well stocked bars help parents unwind in the evening while fresh and nutritious Vitality breakfasts get everyone going in the morning. Maldron Hotels are the ultimate family-holiday destination.
With hotels so delightfully decorated and well-equipped, it may seem like an effort to peel yourself away and venture outside. But venture you must, for every Maldron Hotel is conveniently located right in the heart of the action – with a ton of activities close by for little ones to enjoy.
Yes, family holidays can be hard work. But Maldron Hotels really take the pressure off. With all the amenities to keep children and adults happy, they really do provide fun for the whole family. So, what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and make some memories on your holiday. When you ‘make it Maldron’ and book your getaway directly with Maldron Hotels, you’ll save €10 per room, per night.